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Number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9, number 9
Industrial output ... Financial imbalance
Thrusting it between his shoulder blades

  • from Revolution Number Nine by the Beatles

Ted Williams. Reggie Jackson. Minnie Minoso. Enos Slaughter. Bill Mazeroski. Roger Maris. What do these men all have in common? (No, this isn't a trivia thread, sorry.) Simply -- they are the only men in baseball history to have had the uniform #9 retired by a big league ballclub.

Now, "9" is a magic number in baseball. Nine innings in a game. Nine players on the field defensively -- and nine in the lineup, pre-DH. You get the idea. So in a reverse twist on Dan McIlroy's excellent "Lobby of Numbers" series, let's see what kind of roster we can build strictly of players who wore the uniform #9. (I'm going to need some help here!) ...

First, let's slot the guys already mentioned.

  • While primarily an outfielder, Minoso played more than a couple of hundred big league games at the hot corner, and a handful at first and short, so he's our super-utility guy. We have a pretty darn good third baseman who flashed some leather in the Bronx once upon a time, anyway ...
  • We don't have an obvious center fielder, but again, Maris played there more than a couple of hundred times in the bigs, so he's our guy.
  • Teddy Ballgame is in left field -- any questions?
  • Slaughter, by all accounts a pretty good leatherman, plays RF which puts Reggie, by all accounts NOT much with the glove, in the designated hitter role.
  • You want glovework? Mazeroski is at least arguably the greatest fielding 2B of all time, so look there; he also apparently had, at least once, a penchant for the clutch home run.

So, to start off with (pun intended) how do we fill out ...

The Starting Nine
** Hall of Famer
* All-Star

Manager: Suggestions?

(Yes, there's a DH. Deal with it!)
2B Bill Mazeroski**
3B Graig Nettles*
LF Ted Williams**
CF Roger Maris*
RF Enos Slaughter**
DH Reggie Jackson**

Minnie Minoso*
Bill Plummer?
Brady Anderson*?



Who else qualifies? After Nettles, off the top of my head, I can only positively think of Plummer, a backup catcher with the Big Red Machine, and Anderson, another outfielder -- though granted, another 50-homer guy to go with Maris. Both are, at best, bench fodder (or in Plummer's case, Bench fodder. Har!) ... who else plays here? And how do we find candidates?

The magical number 9 | 36 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
mathesond - Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 01:43 PM EST (#196365) #
I once bought my brother a card with Wayne Gretzky playing baseball on it - I would expect he was wearing 99, although I have no idea what position he would play/ Still, he is a Hall of Famer...
AWeb - Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 02:01 PM EST (#196367) #
Baseball almanac has player numbers listed on the team pages - for instance, the 1977 Jays give the team Rick Cerone, a servicable catcher for the time being.  And the 1993 Jays give John Olerud, who is a pretty damn fine firstbase man. I don't see a way to systematically search for uniform numbers's a matter of going to each team and looking at the roster. We could add Arky Vaughan at Shortstop, who apparently wore #9 for the Dodgers in 1947 at least, although he wore #21 most of his career.

A young Marquis Grissom gives us a very good centrefielder, or a base stealer off the bench at least.

Damn, there goes part of my work day....
Magpie - Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 02:08 PM EST (#196368) #
AWeb beat me to it - Baseball Almanac has uniform numbers going back to the beginning, and the Lobby of Numbers wouldn't be possible without it. (I import them all into a spreadsheet, and play!)

Yeah, pitchers and catchers report in a few days. And so will I.

zeppelinkm - Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 02:16 PM EST (#196370) #
Man - I was super pumped to say Johnny O, just because I wore number 9 one season when I was a kid playing ball. Now... I got nothing to offer!
Magpie - Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 02:22 PM EST (#196371) #
The next two entries in the Lobby will be the Padres and then Giants. For the Padres, I'm going with Benito Santiago, which gives you a catcher. For the Giants, the only possible choice turns out to be Matt Williams. Who did play 70 games at shortstop in his rookie season...
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 03:05 PM EST (#196372) #
Apparently, there has not been a pitcher since 1961 who has worn the number 9.  Hah, I found one.  Gene Lambert of the '41 Phillies wore number 9.  Now, if you chose 10, you'd get Lefty Grove and Tommy Bridges to start...
rpriske - Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 03:17 PM EST (#196375) #
Sorry to hijack but, very bad news.

If this is true, Robbie Alomar has AIDS.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 03:21 PM EST (#196376) #
That is one of several allegations in a lawsuit. 
China fan - Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 03:34 PM EST (#196377) #
I've posted the court documents on the A-Roids thread.    Read and judge for yourself.
rpriske - Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 05:09 PM EST (#196386) #
I actually care very little (relatively speaking) about the lawsuit.
That he could have AIDS is another matter.
Very tragic.
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 05:17 PM EST (#196387) #

To this point, we have opted to not post a separate thread on this matter. Until we find an independent source to link to that confirms the story -- not one that simply reports allegations in a lawsuit -- we will not do so. Anyone see a quoted reaction from Alomar yet? I haven't found one since I heard the report first yesterday afternoon on local (North Texas) radio, and they didn't have confirmation either, so it surprised me they went with it.

Now, this might all turn out to be true. But there is NO reason to start a conversation that can even remotely look like "Batter's Box is reporting ..."

Any time a story deserves the codifier, "If true ..." (as several people have very appropriately written here already), it does not deserve to be "reported."

Sheldon - Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 05:45 PM EST (#196390) #
Mick, the court papers that were filed in the case are up at the The Smoking Gun.
China fan - Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 06:03 PM EST (#196392) #

 I agree that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.   And I agree that any lawsuit should be regarded with some skepticism until it is proven in court.   On the other hand, I don't think there is any obligation to remain silent and refrain from any discussion of any unproven allegation -- otherwise we would be unable to discuss anything until a court case is over.   We have been freely discussing Barry Bonds and Gregg Zaun and many other players who are accused of using steroids, yet this is unproven in court.   We launched a thread on the A-Rod steroid allegations at a time when it was unproven (his confession came later).    When a baseball player is charged with drunk driving or domestic assault, we don't silence ourselves until a verdict is given.  Of course a lawsuit can be frivolous or exaggerated in many cases, but a criminal prosecution can be unfounded too.

   In the current issue of Roberto Alomar, there are two separate issues:  the question of whether he has AIDS and the allegations of personal wrongdoing.  One is a potential tragedy, the other is a potential crime.   Personally I am just as concerned about the former as the latter, and I don't think we should silence ourselves on a possible health tragedy just because there's also an allegation of wrongdoing.  When a retired player is as famous as Roberto Alomar, and when the reported case is as serious as it is, I don't think it's realistic to ask everyone to stop talking about it.


greenfrog - Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 06:34 PM EST (#196396) #
Some interesting comments from John Perrotto's recent chat on BP:

john (ct): This year seems to not have any can't miss teams, the Yankees might be considred so but afterall they are in the very competitive AL East. What teams in the AL and NL do you think will surprise in a big way?

John Perrotto: Let's say the Blue Jays in the AL and Braves in the NL.

* * *

Joe Lefko (NJ): Care to elaborate on the Jays surprising in the AL? From where I'm sitting, they're significantly worse than last year and will be competing against the Orioles' new and improved lineup/defense for last place...

John Perrotto: Pitching, defense, breakout from Lind, finally a monster year from Rios.

* * *

jlarsen (Chicago, IL): With the Rays starting to lock up their younger players, while making interesting transaction to accompany them, why must they continue to be overlooked and believed to be a 3rd place team? Boston has pitching depth in the majors, but Penny/Smoltz/Wakefield aren't spring chickens and Buchholz doesn't seem to be ready just yet. Need I say anything about the Yankees? 2000! Clap clap clap clap clap

John Perrotto: I don't necessarily agree with PECOTA on the Rays being the third-place team in the AL East. I'd say Yankees, Rays, Red Sox at this point.
raptorsaddict - Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 06:35 PM EST (#196397) #
 While I agree with the prudent approach adopted, I think this story has reached a point that it warrants discussion.

On a lighter note, we've landed Kevin Millar!!! And to make things even better, we've picked up Matt Bush for nobody. This qualifies as one of the better moves of the offseason. Sadly.

JohnL - Wednesday, February 11 2009 @ 09:52 PM EST (#196399) #
Yes, the Alomar situation is a discussion point, and will be around the baseball world, at least briefly.

Not to suggest any credence to the story, or guilt to the plaintiff, but on reading the news articles, it brought back memories of a then-contentious (Alomar was furious) Toronto Life profile of Alomar written, I believe, in his last year or two in Toronto that suggested that he refused to use protection. (Having sex, not on the field). Where the author (I think Michael Posner) got his info, I have no idea.

And again, not to get salacious over the latest, but when I tried (unsuccesfully) Googling for any archived references to that article, I did come across a link to a now non-existent webpage:

Google doesn't even have that page cached; the search results just display,  "Guys like Tony Perez or the recently retired Roberto Alomar are close, ....."

It's hard not to wonder what interest that blog had with Robbie.

Manhattan Mike - Thursday, February 12 2009 @ 12:22 AM EST (#196401) #

I stopped posting here awhile back for the most part and the way you guys are handling this situation highlights some of my gripes.

This site (I thought) was a Jays fan blog. That the level of discussion was more intellectual in nature than some of the alternative fan sites is a given. The writers and posters are some of the most knowledgeable baseball fans out there only makes the blog more fun to read.

But you guys have dropped the ball on this one.

Robbie Alomar is arguably the greatest Jays of all time. He will likely be the first Jay to go into the Hall largely because of his accomplishments in a Toronto uniform. That he is also the the first noteworthy big leaguer to even been publicly reported to have AIDS is news in and of itself. The colorful details of the story only makes it more noteworthy.

Major news outlets from the New York papers to the Toronto papers to the CNNs of the world have covered the story. I cannot possibly believe that those legally responsible for the content of the site believe or are worried that a thread on Alomar and AIDS will somehow put them at risk of "reporting" news.

It is my opinion that this site loses credibility by trying to distance itself from a topic that is almost surely of interest to every single fan of the Toronto Blue Jays.
John Northey - Thursday, February 12 2009 @ 01:29 PM EST (#196405) #
FYI: I debated putting up an entry for it, just to avoid it spilling into other areas such as this one, but thought why bother.  The lawsuit is basically someone looking for cash because she is unhappy.  Alomar, based on the lawsuit, did not know if he had AIDS at the time.  As of right now NO ONE outside of Alomar and his doctors have any clue if he has AIDS or not.  Quite honestly, I don't see anything there to be talked about that won't end up being embarassing (ala the BBTF thread where many people started saying Alomar = gay because lord knows only gay people get AIDS regardless of the fact it is a woman who is suing him) for this site.

If Alomar has AIDS, I feel sorry for him.  However, the lawsuit is a 'lets sue anyone with money' suit rather than a 'sue him since he had sex irresponsibly' suit unless you feel everyone should be tested for AIDS before having sex with someone else, or if Alomar has AIDS and knew it before having sex with the woman in question.  Until some facts come up that move this past sideshow status this is the end of my comments on it.
92-93 - Thursday, February 12 2009 @ 01:47 PM EST (#196406) #
John, there's a difference between having AIDS and being HIV positive.
John Northey - Thursday, February 12 2009 @ 02:37 PM EST (#196407) #
True, but the story has been 'AIDS AIDS AIDS' so I just followed the terminology.  I should've said that if Alomar was HIV positive and knew it then he deserves to be charged with reckless endangerment at the least rather than being sued for cash.  However, from what I've read (not tons, but more than I should've) he avoided being tested (which seems odd as I'd test players on a team I ran as it would be a major issue and HIV has been around and well known since the 80's).  If you have unprotected sex with a pro athlete since the 80's and accept them saying they have not been tested for HIV then you are being about as smart as someone walking down a dark alley in a bad part of NYC.  You don't deserve to die or be seriously injured but boy are you taking a stupid risk.
zeppelinkm - Thursday, February 12 2009 @ 03:24 PM EST (#196408) #

Alomar has made an official response on his website,

He doesn't say much, but he does say he is in very good health and that the lawsuit is full of lies. This has been a downer week in the baseball world. 

greenfrog - Thursday, February 12 2009 @ 03:37 PM EST (#196409) #
According to, the Angels have signed Abreu to a one-year, $5M deal. Pretty nice acquisition for the Halos. Abreu, who is 34, has a career line of 300/405/498 and hit 296/371/471 last year with 22 SB.
Ducey - Thursday, February 12 2009 @ 03:54 PM EST (#196410) #

But you guys have dropped the ball on this one.

I must say I disagree.   I am not part of the Cabal around here, but after looking at the Claim over at the Smoking Gun link provided, it would seem the chances of the claim being truthful are perhaps a little less than it being an attempt to get money.

It wouldn't be the first time an ex spouse says something nasty in anger.  The suit admits that she never got HIV (although I admit it would be scary to find out after the fact) and that Alomar didn't know he had HIV when they had sex.  When you add in the apparently irrelevant allegations that he was raped by two Mexican men and that he had erectile disfuction, you got to wonder about why the claim was filed. 

Maybe he has AIDS, maybe he doesn't. Maybe the whole things is true.  Maybe its even worse and she was holding back? Whether its a bunch of BS or not, why start speculating?  Then you get guys saying "yeah, I saw him on a street corner in 2003 and he looked sick.."

Better to wait until this is a lot further down the pipe before getting into the baseball/HOF side of things.  Right now I think it is as useful as spending your time worrying about Jennifer A's love life, Jessica's weight, Bradagelinas adopted alien devil children etc. etc.

I am sure there are lots of other blogs dedicated to the exciting lives of the rich and famous  you can tap into for your speculation fix.

John Northey - Thursday, February 12 2009 @ 04:41 PM EST (#196411) #
Fun stuff that Baseball-Almanac page with uniform numbers. Jays history...
1977-1979: Rick Cerone (CA)
1980-1983: Barry Bonnell (OF)
1984-1988: Rick Leach (OF/1B)
1989: Bob Brenley (CA/OF)
1989-1996: John Olerud (1B)
1997: No one
1998-2002: Darrin Fletcher (CA)
2003: Tom Wilson (CA)
2004-2008: Greg Zaun  (CA)
2009: ???

Interesting.  5 catchers have worn #9, plus slower than a catcher John Olerud.  Leach was not known for his speed either.  Barry Bonnell had some speed (31 stolen bases as a Jay vs 16 caught stealing plus 14 triples in 4 seasons) so he is the freak in this group :)  Thus we have tons of catching depth, a solid 1B and weak outfield (Bonnell in CF, Leach in RF and Brenley in LF).  No 3B/SS/2B or pitchers though.  Wonder who gets it in 2009 given we've only had the one year without a 9 being worn.  Based on the Jays site it looks like (you guessed it) another catcher.  JP Arencibia is wearing #9.

What is odd is the Jays current 40 man has just 3 guys wearing single digits - Inglett #1, Hill #2, and McDonald #6.  Non-Roster guys are JPA #9, Barrett #5 (what he wore as an Expo, he switched to #8 for the Cubs), Thigpen #7, Russ Adams #8, Randy Ruiz #3, and Angel Sanchez #4.  Funny having 6 non-roster guys in single digits since in the old days the low numbers were locks for the roster while higher numbers went to other guys.
Ozzieball - Friday, February 13 2009 @ 01:24 PM EST (#196430) #
Kevin Goldstein at BP published his top100 prospects list.

Snider at #5, Arencibia at #41, Cooper at #88, and Cecil at #90.
zeppelinkm - Friday, February 13 2009 @ 01:50 PM EST (#196432) #

Interesting that he is so much higher on Arencibia than most of the lists we have seen while ranking Cecil much lower.

I'll take his prediction Arencibia, and the other guys predictions of Cecil. I can do that, right?

greenfrog - Friday, February 13 2009 @ 03:03 PM EST (#196434) #
I would have had Cecil higher too. As for Arencibia, I guess power-hitting catchers with decent defensive skills really are a precious commodity (even if they rarely walk). I wonder how close Jackson, Mills and Romero were to making the list. All told, it's nice to have four players on the list and one in the top 5. That's pretty respectable.
John Northey - Friday, February 13 2009 @ 03:39 PM EST (#196435) #
Interesting to see 4 Jays in a top 100 list.  Given 30 teams the random odds are each team would have 3 while 10 would have 4.  We have one in the top 30 in Snider, one in the 2nd 30 in JPA, and two in the 3rd 30 in Cooper and Cecil.

Doing a quick check...
6 top 100: Rangers who peak with Neftali Feliz RHP at #6
5 top 100: Athletics, Atlanta, Brewers, Dodgers, Marlins, Orioles, Rays
4 top 100: Blue Jays, Giants, Red Sox
3 top 100: Cardinals, Cleveland, Mariners, Mets, Nationals, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Reds, Rockies, White Sox
2 top 100: Angels, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Royals, Twins, Yankees
1 top 100: Tigers (#7) and Astros (#76 - the lowest ranked top player of any team)

The Giants have 2 players in the top 10 (only team with that distinction).  #1 is an Oriole (CA Matt Wieters), #2 a Ray (LHP David Price). 

The AL East works out as follows (ranked by top prospect)...
Orioles: #1, #16, #19, #52, #98 (CA, RHP, LHP, RHP, RHP)
Rays: #2, #15, #29, #49, #62 (LHP, SS, RHP, OF, SS)
Jays: #5, #41, #88, #90 (OF, CA, 1B, LHP)
Red Sox: #17, #31, #87, #97 (1B, RHP, OF, RHP)
Yankees: #38, #46 (CA, CF)

The Rays and Orioles obviously have been doing something right in the prospect field, with 3 in the top 30 each.  The Yankees, not so much.

greenfrog - Friday, February 13 2009 @ 04:31 PM EST (#196436) #
That's tough. Not only is the AL East extremely competitive at the major-league level, but the minor-league talent level is generally high across the board (with the exception of New York). The Rays and Orioles have more top 100 prospects, and the only team significantly below the Jays is the Yankees, who have a $200M+ payroll. Ouch. Of course, these lists change quite a bit from year to year. The Jays have been improving; now they need to keep the trend going in the right direction.

The Rangers have the #6, 22, 40, 66, 68, and 73 prospects. Impressive. Will they finally become top dog in the AL West within the next couple of years?
Mick Doherty - Friday, February 13 2009 @ 05:16 PM EST (#196439) #

The Rangers have the #6, 22, 40, 66, 68, and 73 prospects. Impressive. Will they finally become top dog in the AL West within the next couple of years?

I've been in North Texas for 12 years, so let me provide you with this deep, nuanced analysis:


greenfrog - Friday, February 13 2009 @ 07:14 PM EST (#196440) #
I'm assuming that your deep, nuanced reasoning is:

Pitching (lack thereof).

Because Kinsler, Hamilton, Cruz, Feliz, Smoak, Andrus, Holland, Teagarden (+ some other prospects in a deep farm system) seems like a pretty good future nucleus. (Even leaving veterans like Young, Blalock and Byrd out of the equation.) Strong up the middle, too.
Mike Green - Friday, February 13 2009 @ 09:50 PM EST (#196441) #
Alex Rios' birthday is coming up next week.  His birthday team (Feb 18) would be quite good particularly in a non-DH league:

C-         Frank House
1B-      John Mayberry
2B-      Joe Gordon
SS-      John Valentin
3B-      Jamey Carroll
LF-      Manny Mota
CF-      Alex Rios
RF-      Jerry Morales
DH-     Frank Fennelly

Bench- Chad Moeller, Dal Maxvill, Larry Twitchell (OF), Rafael Ramirez, Marc Hill

SP-    Sherry Smith
SP-    George Mogridge
SP-    Kevin Tapani
SP-    Hack Betts
SP-    Herm Wehmeier

RP-    Bruce Kison
RP-    Bob Miller
RP-    Luis Arroyo
RP-    Shawn Estes
RP-    Kyle Abbott

Mota and Valentin would get on base at the top of the order.  Gordon, Mayberry and Rios would be a decent power core, and you'd get some offence out the bottom of the order.  The bench is OK, although it would be nice to have a big bat especially a left-handed hitting OF to spell off Mota.  The pitching is solid, and the defence would be quite good.

So, how many wins for the Rios Medio-Grandes in the AL East of 2008?

Mick Doherty - Saturday, February 14 2009 @ 12:11 AM EST (#196444) #
Mike, we actually did a Feb. 18 HoN birthday team a couple of years ago, here. You even commented in that thread!
Mike Green - Saturday, February 14 2009 @ 07:42 PM EST (#196451) #
Shhh, Mick.  I'm getting old.
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